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Weimi Hardware Tech. Company | Updated: Mar 30, 2018

 Electrical discharge machining (WEDM) is a specialised thermal machining process capable of accurately machining parts with varying hardness or complex shapes, which have sharp edges that are very difficult to be machined by the main stream machining processes. This practical technology of the WEDM process is based on the conventional EDM sparking phenomenon utilising the widely accepted non-contact technique of material removal. Since the introduction of the process,

WEDM has evolved from a simple means of making tools and dies to the best alternative of producing micro-scale parts with the highest degree of dimensional accuracy and surface finish quality. Over the years, the WEDM process has remained as a competitive and economical machining option fulfilling the demanding machining requirements imposed by the short product development cycles and the growing cost pressures. However, the risk of wire breakage and bending has undermined the full potential of the process drastically reducing the efficiency and accuracy of the WEDM operation. A significant amount of research has explored the different methodologies of achieving the ultimate WEDM goals of optimising the numerous process parameters analytically with the total elimination of the wire breakages thereby also improving the overall machining reliability. This paper reviews the vast array of research work carried out from the spin-off from the EDM process to the development of the WEDM.

It reports on the WEDM research involving the optimisation of the process parameters surveying the influence of the various factors affecting the machining performance and productivity. The paper also highlights the adaptive monitoring and control of the process investigating the feasibility of the different control strategies of obtaining the optimal machining conditions. A wide range of WEDM industrial applications are reported together with the development of the hybrid machining processes. The final part of the paper discusses these developments and outlines the possible trends for future WEDM research.

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